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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Drama at Copa America as Messi embroiled in on-field confrontation

PHOTOS: Drama at Copa America as Messi embroiled in on-field confrontation

June 17, 2015 09:54 IST

In the other match of the night, Jamaica ’keeper blunder hands Paraguay 1-0 win

Argentina's Lionel Messi gets into confrontation with Uruguay's Egidio Arevalo Rios during their first round Copa America 2015 match at Estadio La Portada in La Serena, Chile, on Tuesday

Argentina's Lionel Messi gets into confrontation with Uruguay's Egidio Arevalo Rios during their first round Copa America 2015 match at Estadio La Portada in La Serena, Chile, on Tuesday. Photograph: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters

Sergio Aguero's superb diving header gave Argentina a 1-0 victory over River Plate rivals Uruguay at the Copa America on Tuesday.

Aguero met a 56th-minute cross from his Manchester City team mate Pablo Zabaleta and buried an unstoppable effort past Uruguayan goalkeeper Fernando Muslera at his front post.

Argentina coach Gerardo Martino was banished to the stands for arguing with the match officials after just half an hour of a stormy encounter which frequently threatened to boil over.

The result left Argentina and Paraguay level at the top of Group B with four points each, ahead of Uruguay on three.

Jamaica, who lost 1-0 to Paraguay earlier in the day, are bottom without a point ahead of the final round of group matches on Saturday.

Argentina's Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring against Uruguay 

Argentina's Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring against Uruguay. Photograph: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters

The Argentines took the game to their opponents from the start and Aguero almost gave them the lead with a header from a Lionel Messi cross after 25 minutes, forcing a fine reflex save from Muslera.

Uruguay made a more cautious start but had their chances too, Diego Godin heading just over towards the end of the half.

The atmosphere was tense and when Martino jumped from the bench to remonstrate with the match officials, the Brazilian referee sent him off. He spent the rest of the match watching through a window, high in the stands.

Eleven minutes after the break, Aguero made the breakthrough.

Argentina's Pablo Zabaleta is tackled by Uruguay's Diego Godin (right)

Argentina's Pablo Zabaleta is tackled by Uruguay's Diego Godin (right). Photograph: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters

Javier Pastore started the move with some trickery in midfield before threading the ball down the right wing for Zabaleta, who crossed into the box for Aguero to score.

The Uruguayans finally came out of their shell and had their chances to equalise.

Striker Diego Rolan squandered their best opportunity on 75 minutes, scooping the ball over from six yards after goalkeeper Sergio Romero had parried Alvaro Pereira's stinging shot.

Argentina face Jamaica in their final group match in Vina del Mar on Saturday while defending champions Uruguay stay in La Serena to take on Paraguay in a repeat of the last Copa America final in 2011.      

Jamaica's goalkeeper Duwayne Kerr clears the ball in a goal-mouth melee

Jamaica's goalkeeper Duwayne Kerr clears the ball in a goal-mouth melee. Photograph: Copa America/Twitter

A tragi-comic blunder by Jamaica goalkeeper gifted Paraguay a 35th-minute goal and a 1-0 victory that put them top of Group B at the Copa America on Tuesday.

Midfielder Victor Caceres played a long ball out of the Paraguay half for Benitez to chase and Kerr's attempt at a clearing header bounced straight off Benitez's thigh and into goal.

Paraguay have four points from two matches, one more than title holders Uruguay and three in front of Argentina who meet later in La Serena (0130 GMT).

It was Paraguay’s first win in 10 Copa America matches, having reached the 2011 final without a win.

The match was also coach Ramon Diaz’s first victory in his fifth in charge and followed the surprise 2-2 draw with favourites Argentina three days ago.

Source:
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